The blueberries are plentiful.
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The Orchard in Trout Brook Valley
What is the picture conjured up in your mind’s eye when you hear “the Orchard” within Trout Brook Valley? For some, it’s the blueberries. To some, it may be quiet contemplation. Some may think of sitting on the stone bench among the apple trees, placed there to honor the hard work and dedication of Bruce LePage, our former Executive Director. It is a premier birding spot where the grassland meets the forest edge. Whatever it means to you, it is inarguably a place worth visiting at any time of year.
To me, the pollinator meadows, blueberry patch, apple trees and the farm fields used by Farmer Haydu comprise the Orchard. The primary management focus there has in recent years has been to improve the health and productivity of the blueberry patch. Hundreds of hours of labor by staff and volunteers have been spent pruning, fertilizing, and replanting new bushes to replace past losses. This year’s crop reflects those efforts and has been bountiful, to say the least. The time is now to pick some berries; peak production is probably the second and third weeks in July with many varieties extending the season into August.
We have also launched an effort aimed at increasing the health and productivity of the apple trees in the Orchard. This spring, we enlisted the help of Junior Roman and his crew to prune all the trees professionally. Junior oversees the majority of the pruning at nearby Silverman’s farm, and he did an excellent job rejuvenating our plantation. Our future efforts will be aimed at restoring apple production at some level for the benefit of our members.
Feel free to let us know if you appreciate our efforts in the Orchard. Consider volunteering to help with the planting, pruning, mulching, weeding, or even picking berries for our own private label preserves. Financial support is always appreciated, please consider supporting our blueberry bushes, apple trees, and open spaces if you have not already done so.
We hope you will get out and take a hike, pick some berries, and enjoy the natural beauty of this unique spot.
Land Stewardship Director